Meet opposes Pabram Hydroelectric Project

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IMPHAL, March 17: The Pabram Village Authority, concerned Committee over Pabram Hydroelectric Project, Naga Women Union, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur Peace Core Team, Manipur Jointly organised a community protest meet on the proposed 190 MW Pabram Hydroelectric Project over the Barak River at Lungdi Pabram Village, Tamenglong district on March 16.

The event is organised as part of the 3 day observation of International Rivers Day from March 14 to16 2016. The international River Day at L Pabram village is organised with theme “Protection of Barak River”. Villagers of Lungdi Pabram, Philong, Taningjam, Tharon in Tamenglong district attended the meet.

Aram Pamei, ex-president, Naga Women Union, Jiten Yumnam, secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur and Enoch Neumei, Committee Concerned over Pabram Hydroelectric Project shared as resource persons on the issues and challenges of mega dams over Rivers of Manipur.

Enoch Neumei explained how the project proponents of Pabram dam project failed to consider the intergenerational impacts on communities due to the loss of extensive tract of agriculture land in the upstream portion of Barak River from dam site.

He opined the Government’s move to generate more than 2000 MW as against the state’s requirement of hardly 200 MW, is to facilitate profit making of corporate bodies and politicians by destroying peoples land and natural resources.

Jiten Yumnam of CRAM, shared how MoUs on mega dam constructions are pursued in Manipur even as mega dams constructed and commissioned in Manipur, such as the Khoupum dam, Khuga dam, the Singda dam and other energy projects such as the Leimakhong Heavy Fuel Power Plant have failed to generate single unit of electricity, besides the failure and underperformance on other defined objectives.

He suggested to generate energy from alternative source and based on communities needs.

The participants later adopted several resolutions, especially to “Let the Barak River Flow Free”, to provide the detailed project report, copies of MoU on Pabram HEP and other dams planned over Barak River system and to adhere to the provisions of the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 and recommendations of World Commission on Dams etc on all dam decision making.

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